Being an electrician doesn’t mean I know everything about electricity. However, over the past two years, I’ve delved into the fascinating world of solar energy.
In collaboration with several companies in and around Edmonton that specialize in selling and installing solar panels, my role primarily involves handling the necessary upgrades to electrical panels and service systems. The panel’s bus bar rating is the important thing required for the calculation of how much solar energy the rooftop installation can produce.
Unveiling the Power Distribution Mystery
Solar energy is an interesting technology. I asked this question of some very smart solar installer people, “If you have the solar panels connected to your home electrical system, how does the load (stove, air conditioner, or car charger) know the difference between power from the solar panels or from the utility company?” The answer surprised me but made absolute sense.
With a solar installation, you want the load to draw power from the solar panels instead of the utility company, that way you do not have the power going through your power meter and added your monthly utility bill.
So, how does it work?
Well, it’s quite simple.
Harnessing the Sun’s Energy
When the sun is shining, the solar panels on your roof generate electricity. The stronger and more direct the sunlight, the more power they produce.
The more panels you have on the roof, the more power you will be able to generate. However, it’s important to note that the power generated by the solar panels is not immediately usable within your home. It must go through an inverter to convert the power from solar power to house power.
The Key Role of Inverters
Here’s the fascinating part: the entire system revolves around a fundamental principle known as electron flow. Electricity always seeks the path of least resistance. From what I’ve gathered, the inverter responsible for converting DC power to AC power alters the characteristics of the AC power to make it more enticing to the appliances and devices that require electricity.
This essential characteristic ensures that solar power takes precedence over utility power whenever you turn on an appliance. It’s a crucial aspect because it ensures that power from the solar panels is used before drawing from the utility company.
Delve Deeper into Inverter Operations
If you’re curious to learn more about the intricacies of inverters and how they operate, the internet can be an invaluable tool for conducting further research.
Photo credits: shutterstock.com